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Kevin Stefanski on Deshaun Watson's debut for Browns vs Texans: 'I think he will be ready to roll'

Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski expressed confidence in Deshaun Watson ahead his debut with the team following an 11-game suspension over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Deshaun Watson will return to the Cleveland Browns lineup on Sunday after serving an 11-game suspension, and head coach Kevin Stefanski is confident that the embattled quarterback "will be ready to roll" against his former team.

Stefanski fielded a number of questions about Watson’s ability to perform and connect with the team after the NFL reinstated him on Monday following a lengthy suspension over allegations of sexual misconduct made by more than two dozen women.

"As you know, we had Deshaun in the building for three weeks but not out on the field with us and then the last couple of weeks out on the field. Next step is obviously being out there taking all of the first team reps," Stefanski said. 


"He has been doing a nice job getting the defense ready with the scout team reps that he has gotten. I think he has done a nice job with his time away physically, staying sharp and mentally staying sharp so I think he will be ready to roll."

Watson will make his debut for the Browns against the Houston Texans on Sunday after signing a massive five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million contract in March. He last played on Jan. 3, 2020, but despite his significant time away, Stefanski was adamant that Watson would be ready to go. 

"I have confidence in Deshaun based on his preparation. Really, the focus is on him just doing his job. We are still going to be all about the team effort and still offense, defense and special teams. This is never ever going to be about one person. As it relates to Deshaun, I believe in his preparation. I believe that he has worked really hard on a bunch of things to be ready to go."


"I certainly get it but can’t really control that," Stefanski said of the concern about Watson’s time away from the field. 

"For me, for Deshaun and for all of our players, just have to keep the focus on doing our job. Think about there are some guys who don’t play preseason football, and they get in there Week 1 and need to get tackled the first time before they are ready to go. I think some of those things may be true, but I don’t want to put anything on Deshaun that I think is unfair for me to say at this point. We don’t know."

Watson was accused of being sexually inappropriate with the women during massage therapy sessions while playing in Houston. He was not indicted on criminal charges by two grand juries and reached financial settlements in 23 of 24 civil lawsuits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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